Another winning season for Cole Bruce culminated with a championship at Dominion Raceway this season – the first of Bruce’s career.
After a rocky start to the season at South Boston Speedway, the 15-year-old Frederickburg, Virginia native quickly rebounded by scoring a victory in the first Dominion Racer feature of the 2019 season at Dominion Raceway. Throughout the season, he went on to win three more races and clinched the division championship – his first championship of any kind.
“It meant a lot as my first-ever championship in anything to do with racing,” Bruce said. “I’m sure it was a big accomplishment for me and my dad to be racing together and get a championship for something we should have gotten last year but didn’t. After Hours Fabrication gave us a great car every weekend to earn them another championship this year. Every week, we came in knowing we had a top 3 and a winning car. It mattered who showed up the best that day with me, Aaron Donnelly and Davey Callihan. Pretty much it was a good battle all year.
“There were some ups and downs but everything luckily ended up our way at the end of the season.”
Bruce’s season began with an accident in a morning practice at South Boston Speedway in March and the struggles continued throughout the month. On April 6th, the team was able to turn their season around with a victory at Dominion Raceway.
“The beginning of the year did not start off so great,” Bruce explained. “We tore off the front end of our car in practice at South Boston. Pretty much, it was more of a downhill from there, but we picked back up at Dominion and got the win on opening night which helped boost our confidence a lot more. There were ups and downs throughout the season. I think we had one race we had a DNF. Lots of top-five finishes and, we had no motor issues this year like we did last year. No motors blowing up. There’s nothing else I could think of from there.”
The opening night triumph was even more special for Cole Bruce because it occurred in front of a packed house at the Thornburg, Virginia racetrack.
“It felt really great because it was opening night,” Bruce recalled. “We spent a lot of time in the offseason getting the car straight for the race, making sure everything was in place. Pretty much, we had to overcome adversity at the start of the race. We had to go to the rear of the field for a racing incident and had to drive back through a 15 car field in a 35 lap feature to be able to win it. I think, if you have the crowd cheering, and I did my interview and everyone looking at you. It felt great to show off that I had something to prove to everybody that I could drive a racecar and hopefully compete at the next level.”
Bruce doesn’t take sole credit for the championship, and the four wins he accumulated throughout the season. He had the help of his father, Robert Bruce and ARCA competitor Willie Mullins throughout the season – but they weren’t the only ones who helped.
“Dinah [Mullins] did an amazing job as my PR lady taking photos, she did an amazing job on that,” Bruce remarked. “My dad always helps to support me and keep relaxing and fighting through. Jesse Vaughan, a spotter we had added this year, he helped me a tremendous amount teaching me how to pass and race the racetrack itself. After Hours Fabrication, Dakota Ward, for making sure we have a fast car every weekend. My friends and family in the stands supporting me every weekend when I race too.”
With the 2019 season in the rear-view mirror, Bruce is now setting his sights on more wins in 2020.
Cole Bruce is supported in 2019 by Papa John’s, Shepherd’s Heating and Air, Matco Tools, Radley Cadillac in Fredericksburg, Mullins Racing and Dinah Marie Photography.